Hello, and many thanks for dropping by. The following pages will give you an idea of my books and current projects, my writing life, and the latest news and events. You can also find me on Facebook (the button is on the top right of the page) so feel free to drop me a line. Happy browsing!                                                                                                                  Claire X



January, 2016.   I’ve been woefully negligent of my blog this month, but I can report that since Christmas, I have completed all the edits of edits on Book 4 of The Secret Of The Journal series- Realm Of Darkness. And, ta-daaaaa, today I sent off the completed draft manuscript for Book 5 – Fearful Symmetry.

Wishing everyone a very gentle and happy Christmas, and peaceful New Year.



11712543rd December, 2015 NEW MINI-BLOG: STAMFORD SECRETS 



1st December, 2015  NEW BLOG POST: Writing Retreat http://www.cfdunn.co.uk/writing-retreat-2/IMG_0371


24th November, 2015 Well, that’s the Christmas cake made. A month late, I can only hope that a) I don’t overcook it like I did last Christmas and, b) it is not the disaster I made for the Penhurst Writers Weekend, when the fruit settled into a squidgy mess at the bottom of the tin. Of course, I won’t know the outcome until I cut it on The Day, when I would be advised to have a troupe of dancing penguins on hand to offer a distraction if need be.



IMG_9163-copy13th – 15th November, 2015 So enjoyed meeting everyone at the Penhurst Writers’ Weekend. Now getting some positive feedback from the group on our sessions that is making my face glow. Thanks for organising a great weekend, Pen Wilcock and Tony Collins.


10th October, 2015 OK, OK, so I know I’ve been a bit lax when it comes to blogging recently, but it’s that time of year when I’ve been up to my elbows in harvesting an abundant crop of top fruit (the apples and pears have been wonderful this year). As a result, the house has been filled with the sweetly tart scent of Spiced Crabapple, Christmas Port jellies, and Winter jellies with chilli. For the first time, I’ve experimented with preserving pears  and figs using age old methods, and I’ll see whether they keep until Christmas.IMG_3129

Sadly, our beloved corgi, Stig, came to a peaceful end recently, leaving a gap in the family which his humorous  presence had filled so robustly for over thirteen years. Young Esker is purring his heart out, and has already made an impact on us all. Such is life.


Between times, I’ve been up to London to several author events at the Society of Authors, and also to the Association of Christian Writers (ACW). I’ve blogged about the ACW event here.

Meanwhile, editing continues on Realm of Darkness and Fearful Symmetry, so I’d better get back to it.


14th July, 2015 Some time ago, I blogged on the value of photographs as a writing tool. I use photos to help me visualise scenes I’m constructing, to add depth and focus to language, and to remind me of places I have visited connected to my books. So, as I was trawling through the thousands of photos I have stored away, I thought I would do a regular post of a research picture I’ve used in my work. Many are mine, some taken from the internet (for which I give due recognition) and a few by friends, who kindly let me filch their pics.DBNP high res image 9781782640349 copy

If you have read the books from The Secret of the Journal series, you might recognise the picture references. Be warned, they are in no particular order. Hope you enjoy them


1st July, 2015 On this sweltering day, I’m delighted to welcome a bit of fresh air in the form of author, Mel Menzies, who joins my guest blog at:http://www.cfdunn.co.uk/guest-blog-with-author-mel-menzies/


29th May, 2015 I promised to blog about it, so here it is: Getting Medieval: Spanish Orange, Almond and Spice Cakehttp://www.cfdunn.co.uk/getting-medieval-spanish-orange-almond-and-spice-cake/


15th May, 2015 Having good fun answering questions about my writing life as guest author on the ACW More Than Writers blogspot. http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/member-showcase-claire-dunn.html?showComment=1431687486747


10th May, 2015  It’s my turn again on the ‪#‎morethanwritersblogspot‬. This time, I’m touching on the subject of how the hidden elements of dyslexia can affect a writer. http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/getting-it-write-note-on-dyslexia.html



May, 2015 Good grief! How could I forget to post this bit of news on my own website? Look, I’ll make up for it by putting it in a snazzy colour in BOLD. Does that help?

Surprised but delighted to learn that ROPE OF SAND has been selected as a finalist for Adult Romance in the Book Of The Year Award. ‪Results are out in June.‬




 1st May, 2015 My good friend, Fiona Veitch Smith, takes the guest blog at:



14th April, 2015 On the More Than Writers bloodspot today, I particularly liked: ‘#3 Wait for the right season. Some pieces of writing will ripen more slowly than others. You can’t force the harvest.’

Nurturing Cape gooseberries and your writing by Sue Irving on:http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/gooseberry-tales-by-sue-irving.html


13th April, 2015 A thoughtful blog on the value of words from writer Amy Boucher Pye. http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/our-words-gods-ambassadors-devotional.html


10th April, 2015 A Creeping Silence – my latest blog in the Association of Christian Writers blogasphere. Creativity and depression. http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/a-creeping-silence.html?showComment=1428853275976


10th March, 2015. Rewriting The Past. It’s my turn to blog in the Association of Christian Writers new blog venture: More Than Writers blog spot: http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/rewriting-past.html?showComment=1426011986179  in which I get the opportunity to beef about our responsibility as writers to represent the past as accurately as possible. Feel welcome to join me there and leave a comment.


February, 2015 Excited to be taking part in the Association of Christian Writers new blog venture: More Than Writers blog spot. Today, Tania Vaughan writes about making Room To Write. I often think about having a dedicated place to write, but I bet I’d end up back on the sofa or on the old comfy chair in the corner. Anyway, here’s the link – take a look: http://morethanwriters.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/room-to-write.html?showComment=1425461432531


February, 2015 Celebrating the launch of her latest novel, The Red House, author Emily Winslow has kindly taken time out to talk about her puzzling life before writing.


6th January, 2015 A very happy and blessed Epiphany everyone, except rats – definitely not rats. A brief BLOG on Natures (not so) little surprises.



24th December, 2014  Wherever you are, whatever you do, have a gentle and blessed Christmas. X         photo


8th December. POST UPDATE: He That Was Lost…


7th December. NEW BLOG POST: Uninvited Guest. In which we realise that surprises can come in small packages.


24th November. NEW BLOG POST: Stirring It Up. A post in celebration of my grandmother’s Christmas cake.


24th November. Well, that’s it, the draw for the giveaway has closed and three people have been randomly selected to receive a free signed copy of one of the three books from The Secret Of The Journal series. It’s taken me longer than expected to gather all the names, but congratulations to Lisa, in Tennessee, David, from Ludlow, Shropshire (I hope your wife enjoys her Christmas present, David) and Kate, from Michigan.
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to take part in the giveaway and watch out for future events. Have a peaceful and blessed Christmas!


FREE SIGNED GIVEAWAY! It’s giveaway time! Thanks to everyone who’s Tweeted, blogged and Face Booked to enter the free signed giveaway. If you still haven’t done so, you still have a few hours as I’m closing the draw at midnight UK time.

It’s easy to enter: tweet the following phrase or post on your Face Book page or blog about it:

I would love to curl up with a #free #signed copy of MORTAL FIRE or DEATH BE NOT PROUD or ROPE OF SAND by C F Dunn #MortalFire http://www.cfdunn.co.uk

Then let me know by hopping over to my Face Book page: http://on.fb.me/1zVUPVh or by emailing me at: cfdunn@rocketmail.com Copy and paste proof of your entry or take a screen shot. Don’t forget to tell me which of the three books you would like to read and your contact details and if you’re selected, I’ll pop it in the post to you in time for Christmas.


Giveaway! Giveaway! Giveaway! 

18th November. FREE SIGNED GIVEAWAY! To celebrate Christmas I’ll be giving away FREE signed copies of the first three books in THE SECRET OF THE JOURNAL series. Perfect as a gift or to keep for yourself, just follow the countdown to the giveaway here: http://on.fb.me/1zVUPVh 

It’s easy to enter: tweet the following phrase or post on your Face Book page or blog about it: 

I would love to curl up with a #free #signed copy of MORTAL FIRE or DEATH BE NOT PROUD or ROPE OF SAND by C F Dunn #MortalFire http://www.cfdunn.co.uk 

Then let me know by hopping over to my Face Book page:  http://on.fb.me/1zVUPVh or by emailing me at: cfdunn@rocketmail.com  Copy and paste proof of your entry or take a screen shot. Don’t forget to tell me which of the three books you would like to read and your contact details and if you’re selected, I’ll pop it in the post to you in time for Christmas.

 This giveaway is only available to the UK, Europe and the USA this time because of posting restrictions, but look out for future giveaways to include New Zealand and Australia. images-1


13th November, 2014 A very warm welcome to best seller crime novelist, Leigh Russell, who joins me today to tell us about her road to writing in the blog mini-series: Before We Were Writers.


6th November, 2014 NEW BLOG POST: What Goes Around…


30th October, 2014 Poddling on the beach in a t-shirt and eyeing the waves with a degree of temptation this morning, I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of October. Instead of giving in, I’ve come home to invite Emma Darwin to tell us all about her life prior to becoming an award-winning author, in the mini-blog series: Before We Were Writers.

October, 2014  Recently received a lovely message from book blogger, Tamara Tilley along with a link to her review of The Secret Of The Journal series. http://tamara-tilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/my-review-mortal-fire-secret-of-journal.html

It’s been a busy old week so I’m taking a break from posting the mini blog series and will resume next week. So, Michael Jecks, you get another seven days on the stand.

1st October, 2014 Submitted Realm of Darkness last night (after what’s been a very heavy September workload) and promised myself a couple of days before diving into Book 5. ‘Take a break,’ I said to myself, ‘Give yourself a bit of time to relax.’ Hah, right! So what was I doing at 2am making notes on Kort Staahl’s current psychiatric condition? And what exactly does Maggie keep behind the locked door?


Fields of Glory


26th September 2014 NEW blog post. Before We Were Writers with that Master of the Medieval Mystery, Michael Jecks.





September, 2014 NEW BLOG. In the third of the mini-blog series: Before We Were Writers, author Cas Lester describes how she once had a peach of a job at the BBC.



11th September, 2014. A day later than intended as I scramble  around the country getting Child One back to university, I nonetheless extend a very warm welcome  to author Sue Russell as the second of my guests bloggers in the mini blog series: Before We Were Writers.

September 3rd, 2014 New blog post: Before We Were Writers. Being an inquisitive type I’m often curious to know what writers did before they took up the pen, so over the next few weeks I’m inviting a number of authors to spill the beans on life before words.

We begin with Dave Sivers, author of  murderously good crime fiction, whose recently released Dead In Deep Water has shot to #4 on Kindle Serial Killers.

 13th August, 2014  NEW BLOG POST On Meeting Lauren Bacall or How Not To Greet A Star.

5th August, 2014 Scarily close to the end of the first draft of the new WIP (Work In Progress)

4th – 11th August FREE If you haven’t seen this special offer, MORTAL FIRE is still available FREE on Kindle on the 4th August. Check out the other freebies in The Secret Of The Journal series here: http://www.amazon.com/kregelpublication


3rd July, 2014 NEW BLOG POST: Grasping At Sand – the (brief) story behind The Secret Of The Journal titles.


GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!  June, 2014 Only three days to go for the ROPE OF SAND giveaway. Enter to win! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/83768-rope-of-sand

25th June, 2104 Society of Authors conference at Bristol. Looking forward to meeting old friends and making new acquaintances.

4th June, 2014 New BLOG post: Putting myself in the picture – why a camera can be an author’s best friend.

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! Those splendid people at Kregel books will be doing a Goodreads giveaway in June. 15 copies of ROPE OF SAND will be available for Goodreads members to win in the US, Canada and Great Britain starting June 1 and closing June 30. If you would like to take part and have a chance of getting your paws on a free copy of ROPE OF SAND, here’s the link to the giveaway:  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/83768-rope-of-sand


9th May, 2014 Gloriously sunny evening for Rope of Sand‘s launch at Cobham Hall, Kent. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a memorable event.


14th April, 2014  NEW BLOG POST. My thanks to Paul Harris   (http://www.paulcanonharris.org) for inviting me to take part in the Monday Blog Tour. If you have a mo, pop over to my blog and take a look.

2nd April, 2014 This made my morning: I’ve just heard that three consignments of ROPE OF SAND have been shipped to Australia. I’m not not sure whether Matthew ever made it Down Under in his travels, but he’s certainly getting the chance now. Thanks Australia!

10th March, 2014 Latest blog post: WHAT’S IN A NAME? Why assessment and identification of dyslexia matters.


24th February, 2014 So there we go, the ROPE OF SANproofs are back with the publisher and it looks like we’re all set for printing.

8th February, 2014 What do you do when you come across a plot glitch? Resort to coffee and chocolate, or take the dog for a walk? New BLOGPOST: THE STRAIGHT AND THE NARROW.

17th January, 2014. Working on the editorial queries of ROPE OF SAND is keeping me busy and out of trouble.



 15th January, 2014 – first blog of  the new year: TREASURE BOX 

30th December, 2013. Getting ready to welcome the new year and taking stock of the old. New blog post: TAKING STOCK.

23rd December A very happy Christmas. A short post on the key to what Christmas is all about. Check it out, with thanks to Neil Thompson and Clavis Christi. 

12th December Join me and fellow authors at Heffers in Cambridge for an evening of Christmas Chrime while enjoying yourself in a fabulous book emporium and picking up a few presents along the way. Christmas Chrime Party at Heffers Bookshop on: Thursday 12 December 2013 at 6:30pm.


11th December It’s going to be a busy week next week and it has nothing to do with stuffing the turkey. If you fancy an evening of poetry and literature, I’ll have a guest spot at Loose Muse, off Covent Garden, with Agnes Meadows and Manchester poet, Rebecca Smith. http://loose-muse.com 


2nd December, 2013 NEW BLOG POST An expedition to the (almost) wilds of Kent produces more than a Christmas tree. Seasonal thoughts on the dilemma of choice.

November, 2013 Returning from a brain-buzzing weekend with fellow writers at Penhurst Retreat Centre, my latest blog reflects on a minor quandary when deciding whether to take the plunge. Would I stay or would I go, and what role would a tin of homemade biscuits play in the proceedings?

October, 2013. As I updated my author profile this morning, I recalled a conversation I had with a psychiatrist earlier this week while researching Sociopathic Personality Disorder for Rope Of Sand. My latest blog reflects my changing perspective: why I write.

October 2013. Off to the ACW Writers’ Day tomorrow. What’s the collective noun for a bunch of writers? A scribe? A jabber? A chuckle? I could get into this game.

August 2013.  This interesting review of Death Be Not Proud caught my eye today:

Lion Hudson PLC – Author Christina James reviews two Lion Fiction titles www.lionhudson.com

 12 – 18th August, 2013 AuthorBuzz Shelf Awareness in the USA. A week of  Death Be Not Proud giveaways has resulted in lots of emails from people all over North America entering this giveaway book promotion.

I know I’ve said it before, but one of the best things about  writing Mortal Fire and Death Be Not Proud is having the privilege and pleasure of being contacted by many interesting people from diverse walks of life, world-wide. There’s more to writing than sitting on your lonesome with a laptop and dog for company (gorgeous though he is), so feel free to get in touch, it’s lovely to meet you all!



The new book trailer for Death Be Not Proud is out! Watch it here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YPwiAnZefs&feature=c4-overview&list=UUIaEHeBFvlcwnS_9L0B-5Dw

July/August, 2013 – concentrating on getting as much done on the WIP as I can before September. Don’t think I’ll get the first draft finished, but the end is in sight. Juggling national/regional/personal politics in a different time period has proved mind-expanding. I’m up for a challenge.


Thursday, 18th July, 2013 – this has been a tough week getting to grips with a complex set of events 1469 – 1471 and plausibly mixing fact with fiction. Think I’ve cracked it, but only time will tell. Listening to LASSUS – MASSES FOR FIVE VOICES has helped.



Tuesday, 9th July, 2013    When Adam – the lovely publicist from Kregel – told me some time ago that Mortal Fire had been short-listed as a finalist in the ForeWord Book Of The Year Awards (BOTYA) ‘Romance’ category, 2012, I admit to having been both chuffed to bits and a tad sceptical. Imagine my reaction, then, when an email popped into my ‘inbox’ today with this news… https://botya.forewordreviews.com/books/mortal-fire/

GOLD? For Mortal Fire? Golly, as Emma might say.



Monday, 1st July, 2013. Woo-hoo! Today is the official release date for Death Be Not Proud in the United States. So want to get back there to top up my research, but can’t decide which season to aim for. Snow V Sun? Spring V Autumn?

Death Be Not Proud Cover

Friday, 21st June, 2013   From 2pm, in a pre-recorded interview, I talk to Joe Talbot on BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex about growing up with dyslexia, and life as a writer. images       Image 1   Wednesday, 19th June, 2013  I took advantage of some late afternoon sun this afternoon and went for a walk, reminding me of Emma’s walk among the conifers in the woods behind the college in Maine.     Image 2               Friday, 7th June, 2013  A cross country dash to BBC Radio Kent this morning for an interview with Matt Cole on dyslexia, schools and life combining both as an author. This is a first for me so driving with everything crossed is a bit of a challenge. BBC Kent 28th May, 2013  Waiting for the electrician to arrive at some unearthly hour of the morning and taking advantage of this quiet interlude to get some editing done on Rope of Sand. 21st May, 2013  Congratulations to authors Rob Chidley and David Alton, who launch their book: Building Bridges: Towards a Peaceful Future in North Korea at the House of Lords this evening. All the best, gentlemen! 17th May, 2013  Happy launch day DEATH BE NOT PROUD! DBNP author image IMGP5073 19th May, 2013  Had a fantastic time at the launch of DEATH BE NOT PROUD at Cobham Hall on Friday. It was good to see people who came last time for the launch of MORTAL FIRE, and great to see new faces this year. Best of all, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, adding to the warm glow of a happy author as guests  cradled their copy or two of my latest book. IMGP1220 Spoiler alert! If you’ve already read DBNP, the significance of me choosing historic Cobham Hall as the venue for the launch might now be clear. All that was missing were a couple of members of a reenactment group stalking the grounds! 15th May, 2013   Getting that slightly nervy, fluttery feeling as the countdown to the launch of DEATH BE NOT PROUD is only a few days away. Yes, I know, I know – DBNP has been on the shelves in the UK for the last few weeks, but I have to have a party to celebrate!  After all, it is a team effort to get a book up and running and, thanks to all at LION FICTION, DBNP is looking good. See you all at Cobham Hall, Kent. Okay – time to find that dress and dig out the iron…   South Elevation - Low Resolution

Mortal FireDeath Be Not Proud